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Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator


Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator

  • req3152
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23220
  • Recreation and Well-Being
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

The VCU Recreation and Well-Being (RecWell) Outdoor Adventure Coordinator is responsible for the administration and management of dynamic outdoor trips program areas that align with the mission of RecWell to advance student success by empowering the VCU community to prioritize well-being, connect with others, and learn through play. The Outdoor Adventure Coordinator will provide creative direction to the existing outdoor trips program and will also assist with instructing trip leader trainings. The primary responsibilities of this position encompass a wide variety of project and program-based management, personnel management, financial management and reporting, facility operations, risk management, policy and procedures development and enforcement, and program assessment and evaluation. This position directly supervises and provides leadership to OAP trip leaders and reports to the Assistant Director for Outdoor Adventure.

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) provides a wide variety of outdoor recreation and education opportunities through adventure trips, technical skills trainings, outdoor rental equipment, a bicycle maintenance shop, indoor climbing wall, challenge course programming, environmental education and academic courses. The program seeks to be inclusive of all levels and abilities and contributes to the holistic well-being and academic experience of the university. Located in the center of Richmond, Virginia this urban university has an outdoor playground at its back door. Within walking distance is class IV whitewater, 25 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, and outdoor sport climbing. A short drive provides access to the Blue Ridge Mountains as well as the Atlantic coast. The Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator is responsible for the daily operations of all Outdoor Adventure Program facilities. Program facilities include the Outing Rental Center, bike shop and Cary Street Gym Climbing Wall. SR Supervisor SS1.

Responsibilities include:

Personnel Management (25%)
  • Facilitate the hiring and ongoing training, supervision, and mentorship to develop OAP Trip Leaders into more effective, competent leaders and team members in all aspects of their lives.
  • Create opportunities for OAP student staff to engage in applied/integrated student leadership opportunities that align with VCU REAL.
  • Effectively prepare Trip Leaders to identify risks and make critically sound decisions in the field that uphold the department’s shared values.
  • Provide ongoing professional development opportunities for students to increase levels of responsibility, develop new skills, and advance as professionals.
  • Provide technical skill trainings in a variety of outdoor activities that meet industry best practices.
  • Confirm that all Trip Leaders develop the necessary skill sets that will enable them to effectively lead trips for the Outdoor Adventure Program.
  • Ensure that all trip leaders maintain proper training, certifications and experience levels that are related to the specific trips that they lead.
  • Create employee training materials and operating manuals and revise annually.
  • Effectively communicate department, Division, and University mission, vision, values and goals to staff.
  • Ensure consistent and quality service standards are met.
  • Ensure compliance with all departmental and University guidelines and procedures.
  • Regularly monitor staff time and verify payroll.

Program Management (50%)
  • Lead the ongoing planning, implementation, and evaluation of an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming outdoor trips program, minimizing risk while focusing on fun and positive experiences for participants.
  • Participate in the development of department and program area specific strategic plans, goals, and measurable outcomes to guide and evaluate all trip activities.
  • Work with other RecWell staff to assess and report strategic outcomes.
  • Facilitate collaboration with key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to outdoor programming that addresses key recreation and well-being issues, such as belonging and connectedness.
  • Work with key stakeholders to integrate outdoor leadership into academic and other learning environments, potentially instructing courses in partnership with academic departments.
  • Work through the established channels to engage in dynamic and purposeful marketing and promotion of outdoor programs through the collaborative development of digital, print, social, and other media.
  • Attend outdoor industry events, conferences, and professional networks to support team activities and develop relationships with peers and other key partners.
  • Work with others to develop innovative models that remove barriers to student engagement while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the outdoor trips program.

Administration (25%)
  • Ensure Trip Leaders complete all appropriate forms and documents prior to trip departures.
  • Provide responsible and ethical management of resources within designated program area(s), including developing, managing, and reconciling program budgets.
  • Create, revise, and implement standard operating procedures for the trips program.
  • Ensure compliance with departmental and program area risk management plans that includes staff training, certification requirements, program management, regular audits, emergency action plans, and appropriate documentation.
  • Actively contribute to shared knowledge in this growing field by participating in professional organizations.
  • Participate in Division and University-wide events and committees as needed.
  • Assist with daily operations of the department as needed.
  • Serve as part of the onsite/oncall team, providing regular evening and weekend supervisory support.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Sports Management, Health and Physical Education, Higher Education Administration, or related field
  • At least two (2) years of experience in administering an outdoor trips program
  • Current Wilderness First Responder or higher
  • Ability to instruct a minimum of 4 of the following activities: rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, rafting, skiing/snowboarding, caving, mountain biking, cycle touring, backpacking, wilderness first aid and or Wilderness First Responder.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to work collaboratively
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a University and Academic member at VCU
  • Demonstrated experience in personnel management and ability to motivate students
  • Knowledge of best practices and standards in collegiate recreation

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s Degree in Recreation, Sports Management, Health and Physical Education, Higher Education Administration, or related field
  • Extensive knowledge and experience in developing and delivering outdoor programs
  • Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder instructor
  • Instructor level certification with one of the following organizations: AMGA, PCIA, LNT , ACA, or equivalent
  • Ability to obtain instructor certifications related to position responsibilities
  • Experience using Fusion software system

POSITION: This position is a full-time twelve-month University and Academic Professional position

SALARY: Starting at $50,000. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Position includes full-time University and Academic Professional benefits package.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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